Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media

21 February 2012

Cumulus working groups, Helsinki, Finland - May 2012

Northern World Mandate conference

Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture

May 24 – 26, 2012

Working groups : May 23 - 25, 2012!


Cumulus working groups will meet again in May 2012 in Helsinki, Finland.

Northern World Mandate conference

All working groups taking place in Helsinki from May 24th are free of charge and open to the conference participants.

Read more about the groups and earlier meetings - links in the groups' titles.




Time: 22 - 23 May 2012

(May 22: evening arrival, dinner; May 23: seminar and visits, ferry trip to Helsinki)

Venue: Beltika Quarter, Veerenni street 24, Tallinn Estonia

Hosted by Estonian Academy of Arts

Estonian Academy of Arts is hosting the Cumulus Fashion and Textile working group meeting in Tallinn on May 23.

We will have a seminar with presentations and discussions, followed by a visit to the Estonian design hot spots in Baltika Quarter and in the City, including Tallinn Creative Incubator, Estonian Design Centre, Estonian Design House, HULA studio shop, exhibition of smart textiles. In the evening we will take a ferry to Helsinki all together and have informal discussions on the way.

The topics of our seminar will be interactive and social design, which have become the important aspects of textile and fashion design today. Both in Nordic countries and in Estonia, the most interesting developments in the field are taking place and we have several outstanding projects to show and talk about. All the members of the international working group are invited to give their active input to the seminar and share information with the colleagues. During our seminar we will talk about interactive design objects that combine smart textiles with soft electronics and give the possibility to create innovative solutions that consider the personal needs of different users. It is important in textile and fashion design to widen the perspective of using our own specialty tools and traditional knowledge, as well as to include the new technologies for solving the problems of much larger scale of users and finding new areas where to be helpful and active. To reach that goal, designers of course need to work closely with the target groups and research the needs of users. There are several possibilities to improve people’s quality of life, using textile and fashion design tools. In our working group discussions we will focus on how fashion and textile design can care and empower.

Contact person: Maria Jürisson, International Office, Estonian Academy of Arts

Tel: +372 626 7369, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Continuation on Thursday 24 May 2012 in Helsinki, Aalto University



Venue: Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Hämeentie 135 c, Helsinki

Media Factory

23 May 2012

13.00 - 17.00 Demo Day presentations (Detailed programme)

Cumulus members are welcome to attend the Media Lab Helsinki's Summer Demoday in the Aalto Media Factory on the afternoon of Wednesday 23rd May, starting at 13.00. The Media Lab Helsinki is one part of the Department of Media within the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. At the bi-annual demo day students, staff and research groups of the Media Lab present demonstrations of projects completed recently or in-progress. There are on stage presentations, hands-on demos and the possibility to meet and talk with the Media Lab's people. Refreshments are provided.

Continuation on Thursday 24 May 2012


Time: 24 May 2012

Venue: Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Hämeentie 135 c, Helsinki

Sessions between 9.00 – 15.00



- 10.00 - 11.30 visit to Marimekko company (pre-registration needed), meeting with prof. Kääräinen at 9.00 at the main railway station oposite the Tourist Information

- 12.00 - 12.30 lunch break

6th floor, room 6098

- 12.30 - 13.30 afternoon session in Arabia Campus

- 13.30 - 14.30 tour of the studios

Contact person in Helsinki: Prof. Pirjo Kääräinen, Textile Design, pirjo.kaarainen[at]



Media Factory (Hämeentie 135 A) -> FabLab room

10. 00 - 12.30

10.00-12.15 Invited speakers

The 1st part is dedicated to invited speakers from Finland curated by Philip Dean, director of Media Factory, head of the Media Department and founder of the Media Lab at Aalto University (formely TaiK)

10:00 - 10:45 Massimo Menichinelli, doctoral student at Media Lab and founder of OpenP2PDesign, about Fablab at Media Factory and Open Design,

10:45 - 11:30 Pekka Koponen managing director at Forum Virium, about current open data projects in Helsinki

11:30 - 12:15 Ville Heijari, Rovio, about pigs and birds (to be confirmed).

Contact person: Prof. Philip Dean, Head of Media Department This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Group's coordinator Frederic Degouzon This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



8th floor, room 869

9.00 – 11.00

The Centre for General Studies at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture offers courses in art, history, theory and language to students of all departments at all the levels of studies (BA, MA, DA).  (For more details see:

We would like to start a Cumulus Working Group to discuss possibilities and challenges of general studies at multi-disciplinary art and design schools. Some of the questions we would like to discuss: What kinds of fields and subjects should be seen as general and important for every student of art and design? Which should be emphasized, practical skills or theoretical knowledge? Which subjects are the most important for building a solid ground of general knowledge and skill: Drawing and painting? Colour and perception? Space and form? Philosophy and art history? How should such studies be organized? Which studies should be compulsory, which ones optional? What should we try to achieve through such studies? How do general studies differ from specialized courses organized by BA and MA programmes?

We invite everyone interested in cross-disciplinary and cross-departmental studies to share their views to develop such practices. Participants can be, e.g., professors, lecturers, directors and planners.

We will start the working group in Helsinki and discuss possibilities for future co-operation through the Cumulus-network. The meeting will start with an introduction to the programme of General Studies at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Participants are invited to give a short presentation (max. 15 minutes) of how general studies are organized in their home university.

The meeting will take place during the CUMULUS conference in Helsinki on Thursday 24th May at 9.00 – 11.00. If you would like to participate, please send an E-mail to Mr. Ossi Naukkarinen at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Please indicate also if you will give a presentation.

Cumulus Working Group for General Studies

Ossi Naukkarinen, Harald Arnkil



6th floor, room 6087

9.30 - 11.30 (possibly also 12.00 -14.00)

Water is the single most important topic for a sustainable future. Water & Design offer a wide variety of fascinating aesthetic, functional, social, methodological topics to designers and design-educators. Cumulus Global Water Working Group was founded at the Shanghai conference and since held meetings in Paris and Denver. Helsinki is our 3rd official meeting.

-          Resume of outcome from the group’s work Paris (headed by Georg C Bertsch) and Denver (headed by Peter Stebbing and Ursula Tischner). Overview on some new literature.

-          Short presentations by participants (ca. 10 min each), open to every participant.

-          Report on running projects at our Universities or in other contexts. Interchange of methodologies, results and insights

-          The working group will have a look at the results of two Frankfurt projects and discuss them in front of the posters of the show (see below) for approx. 30 minutes.

-          Water & Design as curricular topic: undergrad, grad, post grad and phd topics in water & design.

-          Brainstorming for next steps.

Prof. Georg-Christof Bertsch
+49 (0) 171-7001645 • This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


* X-FILES WORKING GROUP for International Coordinators

8th floor, room 885

9.00 – 15.00

- 9.05 - 9.20 Prof. Timo Salli (Applied Art and Design) presentation of Aalto ARTS       

- 9.20 - 10.15 guided tour of the Arabia campus

- 10.15 - 11.00 coffee break – bilateral talks

-  welcome, introduction x-files schedule       

-  11.15 - 12.15 workshop 1: “how to survive” – our everyday business _ chaired by Aparajita Dutta, Royal Academy of Art/ University of the Arts The Hague

workshop 2: intercultural communication

-  break: lunch, registration, New Members Fair

-  13.30 - 14.00 Presentation about the Finnish education system by Markus Laitinen

- 14.00 - 14.50 Experience of an international student/ challanges during studies and graduation - By Namita Savla, Indian student who graduated from the University of Lapland and now works and lives in Helsinki

Contact: Bettina Ganz  - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Continuation on Friday May 25, 2012



8th floor, room 857

9.00 - 12.00 first session

Sub-group focusing on Interdisciplinary Challanges organized by doctoral researcher Cindy Kohtala

9.00 Welcome (Cindy Kohtala)
Presentations (in random order):
Cindy Kohtala, Aalto University, Finland: ”Experiences from the Creative Sustainability Master’s Programme”
Ilse Stouten, KHLim/MAD Faculty, Belgium: ”Integration of sustainable design into design education: guidelines”
Su Vernon, University College Falmouth, UK: ”Social Sustainability, Pedagogy and Practice”
Maria Koblank, Linnaeus University, Sweden (cancelled)
10.15 Break
10.30-11.15 Group dialogues: what is the “ideal curriculum” or “dream project” we can propose, based on the challenges and opportunities in educating students from several disciplines in environmental problem-solving teams?
Topics will be decided by the participants themselves. Issues can include:
-students’ “disciplinary core” vs polydisciplinarity;
-social sustainability and/vs environmental sustainability;
-multicultural issues;
-scale, scope and time;
-balancing sustainability constraints with creative divergent thinking;
-when theory and when project-based/practice-based teaching;
-when hypothetical cases and when real-world experience.
11.15-12.00 Plenary discussion, conclusion of first session

12.30 - 15.00 second session

12.30 Welcome & Short Introduction and the UNICEF/Cumulus connection/ Peter Stebbing

12.40 UNICEF Innovation - Shaping the Future/ Amanda Cockroft

13.00 Discussion

13.10 Improving drinking water for children: the design of a household filter for low income countries/ Research assistant Selina Derksen-Muller, Eawag, Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (Sandec) and Zurich University of Arts, Switzerland

13.30 Discussion

13.40 Design for children with emotional needs - a design project for the kindergartens of the foreign workers community in Tel Aviv/ Adital Ela, Holon Institute of Technology, Israel

14.00 Discussion

14.10 Composter for the Kindergarten/ Julian Senk, Hochschule fur Gestaltung, Swaebisch-Gmuend, Germany

14.05 Composter for the Kidergarten: Julian Senk

14.30 Concluding discussion

Contact: Peter Stebbing < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >



6th floor, room 6088

9.00 - 13.00

Networking and presentations:

- Henna-Riikka Halonen (video artist / PhD candidate, Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki, "New Artistic Agency / Antagonistic Art"

Whose voice is it anyway?

Apparent uncertainty of the documentary practice has fuelled artists to seek modes of ‘fictionalized’ realities that prompt self-awareness and analysis, rather than claim ‘objective’ truth. Many of contemporary artists seek to create scenarios that partly rely on existing social or political realities, or actively enter that reality to generate work. However, the pertinent question, perhaps, is what kind of social, political or personal reality is being proposed? When working with people, are artists in fact inevitably casting them into the role of the other, hence denying them their “original” voice?

Starting with the acknowledgement that there is very often some sort of dramaturgy involved in any encounter, this presentation brings these questions to the fore, dealing with questions such as whose voice is it anyway?

I will show some of my previous works that investigate subjectivity and speaking through the other, exploring fiction, interference, and the notion of disinterested outsider as artistic strategies.

- Ann Albritton (PhD, Art Historian, Ringling College of Art & Design, "Migration/Immigration"

- Akseli Virtanen / FAB (Future Art Base of Aalto University): "Art & Economy -related projects of FAB, including Kafkamachine & Robin Hood Investment Fund"

- Oron Catts (Artist, Director of SymbioticA, The Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts)

Contact: Prof. Teemu Mäki, Aalto ARTS This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it





8th floor, room 822

9.00 - 12.00

- Opening Cumulus President Christian Guellerin, L'ecole de design Nantes Atlantique

- Jari Jokinen, Director of Developement, Aalto University - Aalto University - a Radical Actor in a volatile Environment

- Presentation by Rachel Cooper, Lancaster University

.Approaches to assessing impact and value of design practice and research


To share views on the growing trend of evaluation of art and design research and education

To establish some common principles in an approach to assessing impact and value

1 Introduction, an overview of the UK criteria for research excellence and impact - Rachel Cooper

Working in groups discuss and recording on prepared sheets:

2  List the underlying drivers for assessment, how is it being implemented globally

Plenary feedback

3 What, when who and how should we assess art and design research

Plenary Feedback


8th floor, room 869


The working group on Welcoming New Students is directed towards staff who works with welcoming new students to the university. We will discuss issues such as arrival arrangements, orientation practices and enrollment, materials for new students and student tutoring / peer groups.

The workshop is conducted in the form of a panel discussion. We will start by a presentation of the Orientation for New Students organized by Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. After that we welcome all participants to discuss and share practices of their university.

The working group is organized by the Student Services of Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Contact person for the working group: Planning Officer Tiina Kotti, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , +358 50 523 0302.

Venue: Student Services Office, Hämeentie 135 A, 3rd floor


Time: 25 May 2012

Venue: Aalto University, Otaniemi Campus, Espoo


* X-FILES WORKING GROUP for International Coordinators

room 1/U264 in School of Science, Otakaari 1, 02150 Espoo

11.00 – 13.00

- 11.00 - 12.00 third session - 5 minutes presentations

- 12.00 - 13.00 bilateral talks, news, any other business, etc.

Contact: Bettina Ganz  - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


If you have any questions, please contact the Cumulus Secretriat This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it